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LeBron's 40 bests Zion, sends Lakers past Pelicans 118-109

LOS ANGELES (AP) LeBron James sees a long, prosperous future ahead of Zion Williamson and the up-tempo New Orleans Pelicans.

In the immediate present, James and Anthony Davis are a whole lot closer to basketball's ultimate goal, as they proved in their first meeting with their fellow No. 1 overall draft pick.

James had 40 points and eight rebounds in his first career meeting with Williamson while leading the Los Angeles Lakers to their sixth straight victory, 118-109 over New Orleans on Tuesday night.

Williamson had 29 points and six rebounds in his first showdown with James and Davis, his predecessor as the Pelicans' centerpiece.

James and Williamson still haven't talked, but the 35-year-old James sees greatness in the teenager.

''He's playing exceptional basketball,'' James said. ''I think his game is going to get better and better, just having that experience. I think today's game is the perfect fit for his game. The high pace, the way they play, it fits his game. ... It works perfectly, and our game is so many possessions now, so much space, it's perfect for his game, so he's doing exceptionally well with that.''

Williamson was still injured for the Pelicans' first two meetings of the season with the Lakers, but his delayed debut in Hollywood was as entertaining as everyone hoped. In his 13th NBA game, Williamson scored at least 20 points for the ninth consecutive time, but managed only one field goal in the fourth quarter.

''It was a great experience,'' Williamson said. ''He's an incredible player. His resume speaks for himself. ... He handled business. He came out here and did what he had to do to help his team get the win.''

The Lakers still haven't lost to the team with which they made the blockbuster summer trade that has appeared to benefit both teams. Davis has been just as good as the Lakers hoped in propelling them back to NBA championship contention, while the Pelicans are getting an All-Star season from Brandon Ingram alongside Williamson in an increasingly potent core.

Davis had 21 points, 14 rebounds and six blocked shots while improving to 3-0 against New Orleans. Davis and Williamson briefly were theoretical teammates during the time between the draft and Davis' departure for the Lakers, and Williamson admitted he entertained the idea they might play together, even though Davis had requested a trade.

''He's a great player,'' Davis said of Williamson. ''He's got a quick first step. Very explosive. He's going to continue to get better and better as he goes on.''

Although Davis missed 15 of his 21 shots and failed to score 40 points against New Orleans for the first time, James picked him up with a masterfully efficient, 17-for-27 performance that included five 3-pointers.

In the Lakers' first game after an emotional memorial service for Kobe Bryant at Staples Center on Monday, James opened up a close contest with back-to-back buckets at the rim with about three minutes left. Danny Green sealed it for Los Angeles with his fifth 3-pointer with 51 seconds to play.

Ingram had 34 points against his former team, but just six in the final period as New Orleans lost for only the second time in seven games.

Williamson had several impressive dunks in his usual fearsome floor game, and only six missed free throws kept him from surpassing his career high of 32 points.

''(James) might see himself a little bit in Zion, the way they both came in with all the hype,'' Lonzo Ball said of his former and current teammates. ''I think Bron goes out there and plays his game every night no matter who's the opponent.''

TIP-INS

Pelicans: These teams will complete their four-game season series Sunday in New Orleans. ... UCLA product Jrue Holiday had 11 points and nine assists, but went 5 for 19 from the field.

Lakers: Davis gave the Lakers a scare midway through the fourth quarter when he appeared to hit his left hand on the glass while blocking Nicolo Melli's shot. The oft-hobbling superstar stayed in the game after getting treatment during a timeout. Davis apparently had dinged his hand on the Lakers' previous offensive possession as well. ... Davis is the leading scorer and rebounder in New Orleans franchise history, making six All-Star teams during his tenure.

EX-LAKERS

Ball had 10 points, eight assists and eight rebounds, and Josh Hart scored three points in their second return to face the Lakers, who traded them to New Orleans along with Ingram last July for Davis.

BALD MAMBA STRIKES AGAIN

Alex Caruso provided the Lakers with his usual injection of energy in the fourth quarter, particularly with a stunning block of Ball's shot at the rim that left Ball flat on his back. Caruso finished with eight points and eight assists, including a beautiful between-the-legs drop pass to James for a dunk in the first half. ''We play so well together,'' James said.

MARKIEFF'S MOMENT

Markieff Morris made his Lakers debut with four points and three fouls in 15 minutes. Los Angeles signed the veteran on Sunday for the playoff push after Detroit bought him out. Coach Frank Vogel plans to ease Morris into the rotation, which he says is already stacked with more quality players than he can use extensively. Morris is expected to see regular time as a backup power forward who can rebound and play solid defense.

''It means everything to be in the purple and gold,'' said Morris, who acknowledged being exhausted after several days of personal upheaval. ''Putting on this jersey is really special.''

UP NEXT

Pelicans: Host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.

Lakers: Visit the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.

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1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:43 +3 Danny Green made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by LeBron James 0-3
11:26   Violation  
11:05   LeBron James missed hook shot  
11:02   Defensive rebound by Lonzo Ball  
10:57 +2 Brandon Ingram made dunk, assist by Jrue Holiday 2-3
10:45   Out of bounds turnover on LeBron James  
10:37   Lonzo Ball missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:35   Defensive rebound by JaVale McGee  
10:09 +2 JaVale McGee made jump shot 2-5
9:56   Jrue Holiday missed driving layup, blocked by Anthony Davis  
9:54   Defensive rebound by Anthony Davis  
9:52 +2 LeBron James made layup 2-7
9:39   Brandon Ingram missed turnaround jump shot  
9:36   Defensive rebound by JaVale McGee  
9:33   Bad pass turnover on LeBron James, stolen by Zion Williamson  
9:27   Zion Williamson missed layup  
9:24   Defensive rebound by Danny Green  
9:20   Avery Bradley missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:16   Defensive rebound by Zion Williamson  
9:00   Jrue Holiday missed layup, blocked by Anthony Davis  
8:57   Defensive rebound by Danny Green  
8:56   Shooting foul on Lonzo Ball  
8:56 +1 Anthony Davis made 1st of 2 free throws 2-8
8:56 +1 Anthony Davis made 2nd of 2 free throws 2-9
8:44   Jrue Holiday missed floating jump shot, blocked by Anthony Davis  
8:41   Defensive rebound by LeBron James  
8:39 +3 Danny Green made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by LeBron James 2-12
8:30   Full timeout called  
8:17   Shooting foul on Anthony Davis  
8:17 +1 Zion Williamson made 1st of 2 free throws 3-12
8:17 +1 Zion Williamson made 2nd of 2 free throws 4-12
8:08   Shooting foul on Derrick Favors  
8:08 +1 Anthony Davis made 1st of 2 free throws 4-13
8:08 +1 Anthony Davis made 2nd of 2 free throws 4-14
8:00   Out of bounds turnover on Brandon Ingram  
7:42 +3 LeBron James made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Anthony Davis 4-17
7:29   Zion Williamson missed driving layup  
7:28   LAL team rebound  
7:19   Personal foul on Zion Williamson  
7:14   LeBron James missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:12   Defensive rebound by Brandon Ingram  
6:52   Jrue Holiday missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:49   Defensive rebound by JaVale McGee  
6:45   LeBron James missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:42   LAL team rebound  
6:35   Anthony Davis missed jump shot  
6:32   Defensive rebound by Brandon Ingram  
6:29   Shooting foul on Avery Bradley  
6:29 +1 Brandon Ingram made 1st of 2 free throws 5-17
6:29 +1 Brandon Ingram made 2nd of 2 free throws 6-17
6:15   Anthony Davis missed reverse layup, blocked by Derrick Favors  
6:11   Offensive rebound by JaVale McGee  
6:14   JaVale McGee missed dunk  
6:11   Offensive rebound by Anthony Davis  
6:11   Anthony Davis missed dunk  
6:11   Offensive rebound by LeBron James  
6:00   Avery Bradley missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:57   Defensive rebound by Brandon Ingram  
5:57 +2 Zion Williamson made dunk, assist by Lonzo Ball 8-17
5:51   Out of bounds turnover on LeBron James  
5:39 +2 Brandon Ingram made driving layup, assist by Lonzo Ball 10-17
5:23   Avery Bradley missed jump shot  
5:18   Offensive rebound by JaVale McGee  
5:05   Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:01   Offensive rebound by Anthony Davis  
4:58   Bad pass turnover on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, stolen by Derrick Favors  
4:53   Lonzo Ball missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:51   NO team rebound  
4:51   Personal foul on JaVale McGee  
4:47 +2 Derrick Favors made layup, assist by JJ Redick 12-17
4:45   Full timeout called  
4:35   Kyle Kuzma missed jump shot  
4:32   Defensive rebound by Lonzo Ball  
4:28   Lost ball turnover on JJ Redick, stolen by Kyle Kuzma  
4:14   Avery Bradley missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:13   Defensive rebound by JJ Redick  
4:02   Bad pass turnover on Jrue Holiday, stolen by Anthony Davis  
3:56 +2 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made driving dunk, assist by Rajon Rondo 12-19
3:35 +3 Jrue Holiday made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by JJ Redick 15-19
3:22   Anthony Davis missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:20   Defensive rebound by Jrue Holiday  
3:16 +2 Brandon Ingram made jump shot, assist by Jrue Holiday 17-19
3:11   Personal foul on Derrick Favors  
3:00   Rajon Rondo missed reverse layup  
2:58   Offensive rebound by Anthony Davis  
2:57   Anthony Davis missed dunk  
2:53   Offensive rebound by Anthony Davis  
2:53 +2 Anthony Davis made dunk 17-21
2:47   Lonzo Ball missed jump shot  
2:44   Defensive rebound by Kyle Kuzma  
2:38   Kyle Kuzma missed hook shot  
2:35   Defensive rebound by Nicolo Melli  
2:22 +3 Nicolo Melli made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Brandon Ingram 20-21
2:13   Anthony Davis missed alley-oop shot  
2:10   Defensive rebound by Nicolo Melli  
1:59   Brandon Ingram missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:55   Defensive rebound by Markieff Morris  
1:46 +2 Markieff Morris made dunk, assist by Anthony Davis 20-23
1:24   Brandon Ingram missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:21   Defensive rebound by Anthony Davis  
1:16 +2 Anthony Davis made reverse layup 20-25
1:07 +2 Brandon Ingram made dunk, assist by JJ Redick 22-25
0:44   Shooting foul on JJ Redick  
0:44 +1 Markieff Morris made 1st of 2 free throws 22-26
0:44 +1 Markieff Morris made 2nd of 2 free throws 22-27
0:28 +2 Nicolo Melli made dunk, assist by Lonzo Ball 24-27
0:08 +2 Kyle Kuzma made layup, assist by LeBron James 24-29
0:08   Shooting foul on JJ Redick  
0:08 +1 Kyle Kuzma made free throw 24-30
0:04   Personal foul on Rajon Rondo  
0:01 +2 Brandon Ingram made jump shot, assist by Lonzo Ball 26-30
0:00   End of period  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:36 +2 Jrue Holiday made driving layup, assist by Nicolo Melli 28-30
11:18   Rajon Rondo missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:15   Defensive rebound by Josh Hart  
11:10   Out of bounds turnover on Jrue Holiday  
10:53   Kyle Kuzma missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:50   Offensive rebound by Dwight Howard  
10:49 +2 Dwight Howard made dunk 28-32
10:33   Personal foul on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope  
10:27 +2 Nicolo Melli made reverse layup, assist by Josh Hart 30-32
10:12 +2 Kyle Kuzma made driving dunk, assist by LeBron James 30-34
10:02 +3 Josh Hart made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jrue Holiday 33-34
9:38   Kyle Kuzma missed 3-pt. fade-away jump shot  
9:37   NO team rebound  
9:29   Out of bounds turnover on Jrue Holiday  
9:12 +2 Kyle Kuzma made finger-roll layup, assist by Rajon Rondo 33-36
9:04 +2 Jrue Holiday made layup 35-36
8:51   Bad pass turnover on LeBron James, stolen by Jrue Holiday  
8:48 +2 Zion Williamson made layup, assist by Jrue Holiday 37-36
8:48   Full timeout called  
8:30 +2 LeBron James made finger-roll layup, assist by Alex Caruso 37-38
8:18   Shooting foul on Dwight Howard  
8:18 +1 Zion Williamson made 1st of 2 free throws 38-38
8:18 +1 Zion Williamson made 2nd of 2 free throws 39-38
8:05 +2 LeBron James made fade-away jump shot 39-40
7:50   Zion Williamson missed driving layup, blocked by Dwight Howard  
7:50   NO team rebound  
7:43   Bad pass turnover on Zion Williamson, stolen by Alex Caruso  
7:38 +2 LeBron James made dunk, assist by Alex Caruso 39-42
7:26   Offensive foul on Jrue Holiday  
7:26   Turnover on Jrue Holiday  
7:15   Bad pass turnover on Dwight Howard, stolen by E'Twaun Moore  
7:09   Jrue Holiday missed driving dunk  
7:04   Defensive rebound by Alex Caruso  
7:00 +3 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Alex Caruso 39-45
6:52   Full timeout called  
6:42   E'Twaun Moore missed floating jump shot  
6:38   Offensive rebound by Zion Williamson  
6:37 +2 Zion Williamson made dunk 41-45
6:22   Bad pass turnover on LeBron James, stolen by Josh Hart  
6:07   Nicolo Melli missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:05   Defensive rebound by LeBron James  
5:59   Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:56   Defensive rebound by Zion Williamson  
5:46 +2 Nicolo Melli made driving dunk, assist by Jrue Holiday 43-45
5:31 +3 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Dwight Howard 43-48
5:21   Shooting foul on Dwight Howard  
5:21   Zion Williamson missed 1st of 2 free throws  
5:21   NO team rebound  
5:21 +1 Zion Williamson made 2nd of 2 free throws 44-48
5:13   Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:10   Defensive rebound by Zion Williamson  
5:06   Bad pass turnover on Zion Williamson, stolen by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope  
5:05   Personal foul on Josh Hart  
5:04   Personal foul on Derrick Favors  
4:51 +3 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Alex Caruso 44-51
4:51   Personal foul on Jahlil Okafor  
4:51   Dwight Howard missed free throw  
4:49   LAL team rebound  
4:49   LAL team rebound  
4:31 +2 Brandon Ingram made jump shot, assist by Lonzo Ball 46-53
4:22 +2 Anthony Davis made layup, assist by Alex Caruso 46-55
4:11   Brandon Ingram missed jump shot  
4:07   Defensive rebound by Dwight Howard  
4:02 +3 Danny Green made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Alex Caruso 46-58
3:50 +2 Zion Williamson made dunk, assist by Brandon Ingram 48-58
3:50 +2 Zion Williamson made dunk, assist by Brandon Ingram 48-58
3:23   Anthony Davis missed fade-away jump shot  
3:21   Defensive rebound by Lonzo Ball  
3:17 +2 Lonzo Ball made layup 50-58
3:17 +2 Lonzo Ball made layup 50-58
3:17   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
3:17   Brandon Ingram missed free throw  
3:17   LAL team rebound  
3:04   Bad pass turnover on Avery Bradley, stolen by Jrue Holiday  
3:00   Shooting foul on Markieff Morris  
3:00 +1 Brandon Ingram made 1st of 2 free throws 51-58
3:00 +1 Brandon Ingram made 2nd of 2 free throws 52-58
2:45   Anthony Davis missed hook shot  
2:43   Defensive rebound by Jrue Holiday  
2:37   Personal foul on Markieff Morris  
2:37   Zion Williamson missed 1st of 2 free throws  
2:37   NO team rebound  
2:37   Zion Williamson missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
2:34   Defensive rebound by LeBron James  
2:13 +2 LeBron James made finger-roll layup 52-60
1:57 +2 Brandon Ingram made fade-away jump shot, assist by Zion Williamson 54-60
1:42   Danny Green missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:41   Offensive rebound by Danny Green  
1:41   Personal foul on Jrue Holiday  
1:36   Danny Green missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:34   Defensive rebound by Lonzo Ball  
1:22   Zion Williamson missed finger-roll layup  
1:20   Defensive rebound by Danny Green  
1:11   Avery Bradley missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:09   Defensive rebound by Nicolo Melli  
1:02   Lost ball turnover on Brandon Ingram, stolen by Avery Bradley  
1:00 +2 Anthony Davis made dunk, assist by Danny Green 54-62
0:55 +2 Zion Williamson made alley-oop shot, assist by Lonzo Ball 56-62
0:32 +2 LeBron James made driving layup 56-64
0:32   Shooting foul on Jrue Holiday  
0:32   LeBron James missed free throw  
0:29   Offensive rebound by Anthony Davis  
0:29   Anthony Davis missed dunk  
0:29   Defensive rebound by Lonzo Ball  
0:22   Brandon Ingram missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by Danny Green  
0:22   NO team rebound  
0:11 +2 Zion Williamson made driving layup, assist by Lonzo Ball 58-64
0:00   LeBron James missed 3-pt. fade-away jump shot  
0:00   LAL team rebound  
0:00   End of period  

3rd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:49 +3 Lonzo Ball made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Zion Williamson 61-64
11:32   LeBron James missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:28   Defensive rebound by Jrue Holiday  
11:25   Jrue Holiday missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:23   Defensive rebound by JaVale McGee  
11:18   Personal foul on Zion Williamson  
11:09   Anthony Davis missed jump shot  
11:05   Offensive rebound by JaVale McGee  
11:03   Avery Bradley missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:03   NO team rebound  
10:53   Zion Williamson missed driving layup, blocked by Anthony Davis  
10:50   Defensive rebound by JaVale McGee  
10:45 +3 LeBron James made 3-pt. jump shot 61-67
10:35   Lonzo Ball missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:31   Defensive rebound by Avery Bradley  
10:26   Avery Bradley missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:19   Offensive rebound by LeBron James  
10:19 +2 LeBron James made dunk 61-69
10:01   Jrue Holiday missed jump shot  
9:58   Defensive rebound by Anthony Davis  
9:45   Anthony Davis missed jump shot  
9:43   Defensive rebound by Derrick Favors  
9:36